Chocolate Cupcakes + Buttercream Frosting
Chocolate candy cane cupcakes are so fun to make around the holidays. If you love chocolate and peppermint, these winter cupcakes with buttercream frosting are just what you need.
This is a fun twist on an old school chocolate cupcake recipe that will put you in the Christmas spirit for sure. With a light and fluffy peppermint buttercream frosting recipe to top it all off, these candy cane cupcakes are a dream.
There’s nothing better than a classic chocolate cake. For that reason, we use our homemade chocolate cake recipe when making our chocolate candy cane cupcakes as well. This cupcake recipe is our go-to for birthdays, events, parties, or whenever we’re really craving chocolate.
If you’re looking for an amazing chocolate cake recipe for your special occasions, you should definitely check out this post about how to make homemade chocolate cake.
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Peppermint buttercream frosting is not only extremely easy to make, but peppermint is such a fun and festive flavor to use during the holidays. We use our light and fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting recipe with a little peppermint extract. Whether you want a special flavor or a bright colored frosting, this buttercream recipe is the PERFECT base because it can be transformed into any color or flavor you want.
Crushed candy cane can also make a great addition to your peppermint buttercream frosting. Usually, when making these chocolate candy cane cupcakes, we sprinkle the crushed candy cane on top for some extra flavor and texture.
How to Crush Candy Canes
Obviously, there are tons and tons of methods to crush candy canes. It’s pretty straightforward, but we have had a few people ask about our candy cane crushing tactics, so we’ve included some tips that we use. First, grab your candy canes and put them in a plastic Ziploc bag.
Rolling pins are our preferred candy cane crushing tool, but anything solid and fairly heavy works well. Hit the candy canes with the rolling pin until they are crushed into small pieces. Personally, I like to have a variety of sizes ranging from tiny bits to larger chunks.
Cupcake Tools: Click To View
This includes some of our favorite cupcake/cake decorating tools such as piping bags, frosting tips, sifters, and hand mixers.
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Before You Start
Remove refrigerated ingredients and place them on the counter so they will be at room temperature when you begin baking (eggs & butter).
Chocolate Candy Cane Winter CupcakesDecember 17, 2021
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 2 cups cake flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ½ cup butter (1 stick) softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
FOR THE FROSTING
- 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks) softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1-3 tablespoon heavy cream or milk as needed
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract (to taste)
- 4-5 candy canes crushed (for topping)
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Place the cocoa in a medium mixing bowl. Add the ½ cup lukewarm water, and whisk to combine; set aside to cool. In a large liquid measuring cup, add the buttermilk, the ½ cup water, and the vanilla. Beat together the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until the butter is smooth and light in color (2-3 minutes). Reduce to low speed and add the granulated and brown sugars. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture will appear sandy. Increase to medium speed, cream until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture (about 4 to 5 minutes).
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs slowly and add the sour cream. Continue to cream, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is smooth and velvety. Add in the cocoa mixture and mix just until combined.
- Using a spoon or spatula, stir in one-fourth of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat these steps, alternating dry and liquid. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Place your cupcake liners into your muffin tin and pour the batter into each cupcake liner, about ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Check with a toothpick to ensure the cupcakes are done. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes.
FOR THE FROSTING
- Place your softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy in texture and pale in color.
- Add the powdered sugar in small batches (about a cup at a time), mixing between each addition.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and peppermint extract and check the consistency of the frosting. If it’s too thick, add the milk or heavy until the desired consistency is reached.
- When your cupcakes are completely cooled, fill your piping bag with frosting and frost your cupcakes. Crush up your candy canes and sprinkle them on top. Enjoy!